On completing NaBloPoMo
Today is the final day of National Blog Posting Month. I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Blogging every day, particularly when you’re determined, like I was, to actually write something every day and not just post photos or videos when pressed for time or not feeling like writing something is tough. The most difficult part of it isn’t the writing itself, because I generally found I was fine writing about something until I’d finished everything I needed to say. The hard part is coming up with a topic to write about every day.
I was able to find a sufficient number of topics through using prompts, mostly from Plinky. The first time I did NaBloPoMo, I was against using prompts. I thought that I should be able to write something every day just by picking out topics that were on my mind, but as I discussed in my second entry the writing I did in 2008 wasn’t nearly as consistently good as I thought it had been. The secret for me to actually write things is to use prompts to shape ideas I already have. To really look through large numbers of them and choose prompts that give me a framework or a start to talk about something that interests me.
I think that strategy has made NaBloPoMo 2013 quite successful. Yes, there are definitely some posts that are throwaway and that were written just because I had to write something, but they aren’t the majority. Many of the posts I wrote were about topics that I’ve been thinking about a great deal. Looking through the list of topics I wanted to write about in my first entry, I managed to discuss most of the issues I had intended to touch on. I wrote about difficulties moving home (clutter), lack of archival work (least favourite question), cooking and baking, my feelings about how my life has changed (wanting to leave Vancouver), etc… I think what made many of these posts good and not totally exhausting was looking at them from a particular angle via the use of a prompt instead of just blurting out a lot of nonsense about very personal problems that may not be easily understood or expressed in one blog post.
I decided not to revisit posts from 2010 and 2008 because most of the entries I wrote back then weren’t worth revisiting. There were a few from 2008 that I considered taking a look at, particularly my series on slash and BL, since my “Thoughts on Yaoi” are always evolving with current trends and with reading and experiencing more of it. But, I’m also happy with what I wrote back then as a representation of my feelings, and right now my focus is more on particular series than it is on the genre/medium/whatever itself.
I also didn’t write at all about manga, anime, books or television. There are several reasons for this. I think it’s pretty clear that I am spending a lot of my free time playing video games right now. Games are what I’ve been sinking most of my free time in to for most of this year, and I have spent a lot less time with manga, anime, and books. I do still watch a fair number of TV series, but I haven’t had any particularly strong feelings about what I’ve been watching recently. This is a significant shift from my 2008 run at NaBloPoMo, where I frequently wrote about manga and anime. I think the main reason for this particular change is that in 2008, I was still pretty new to manga and anime and, consequently, a lot more enthusiastic about them. Today, I still like them a lot (though I’m much more in to reading manga than I am in to watching anime), but I’ve just settled in to making them part of my regular fictional routine rather than giving them any particular focus or attention.
Despite not writing about some of the things I intended to cover, I am quite happy with what I accomplished in NaBloPoMo 2013. I feel like I’ve created a good snapshot of my life as it is right now along with how I feel about it. I wrote something half decent every day, even if some posts were a little more haphazard than others, and putting my thoughts down on paper has become much easier than it was at the beginning of the challenge. All in all, I am quite pleased. We’ll see how I feel about it when I look back at the entries in a few years. Hopefully I won’t be totally horrified.
- On NaBloPoMo (commonlyillogical.wordpress.com)